US bishop happy to bring diversity to royal wedding ceremony

US Bishop Michael Curry, who has been celebrated for his rousing royal wedding speech, said it was "a real joyful thing" to bring diversity to the ceremony.

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, gained worldwide attention with his address at Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding on Saturday during which he evoked Martin Luther King and spoke of poverty and injustice.

Mr Curry, along with the gospel choir, brought a flavour of the American bride's homeland with the speech at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

He told the Press Association: "It was a real joyful thing because there was a sense in which you had the fullness of the church represented in many respects."

Bringing everybody together, Mr Curry said, "happened today, in different ways, different songs, different perspectives, different worlds and all of it came together and gave God thanks".

The speech was a lengthy one, with Mr Curry appearing to tell himself to bring it to a close towards the end when he looked at the couple and said: "We need to get y'all married."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Asked whether the address was planned or off-the-cuff, the Archbishop of Canterbury interjected, saying: "Let's have an honest answer."

"It was planned and I thought it was going to be six minutes," Mr Curry said. "It was a little longer than that because there were pauses in there," he added to laughter from the Most Rev Justin Welby.

Mr Welby, who officiated the wedding between the Los Angeles-born bride and the prince, said the exchange of vows had the "most extraordinary" sense of intimacy, despite millions around the world viewing it.

"There was this most extraordinary sense of intimacy. It did feel when doing the vows that it was just the three of us despite the fact there was all these millions and tens of millions of people elsewhere. It was very close, very personal, very intimate and very beautiful," he said.

"It was a really mesmerising experience."

Mr Welby also said the Church of England had a lot to learn from Mr Curry's enthusiastic address and praised the elements of the wedding which were not traditional by royal standards.

"There seemed to be very, very good responses," he said.

"It was unconventional by royal wedding standards in some ways, but it had passion and if you don't have passion at a wedding when will you have passion?"